Parashat Balak 5777: Fear and curse
In Parashat Balak, the Moabite King with this name asks from the biggest, most famous, most powerful wizard around, Volde… sorry, Balaam son of Beor, to curse the people of Israel for him. He believes this the only way to defeat them in battle. The Torah tells us that God transformed the curse words of Balaam into blessings, some of the most beautiful ones ever said over our people. So we have a king that his strategy is based on fear and will therefore choose to curse and weaken. He will repress his people, battle his neighbors and eliminate enemies. Sounds familiar? Not only from the newspapers though, also from looking into the mirror. Balak, the scared king, asks to curse. In front of his approach stands God’s, who doesn’t curse, because only knows how to bless. This is the way of Divinity, to bless! In God there is no fear, and where is no fear there is no curse. Immediately after creating life, God blesses it, transmitting to us the ability to bless others. God said to Abraham that he and his descendants are supposed to become a blessing and it is not easy to do that. The basic experience human beings are familiar with is actually fear, survival. From a place of fear it is hard to bless, it is easier to curse. Our Parashah teaches us that God blesses and he asks from us to do the same: to bless and be a blessing. Our fear, our feelings of inferiority, our survival, push us to curse, to weaken the life in the World. So this is the challenge: if our internal dialogue is about cursing, one that wants to weaken the other (and ourselves of course), to criticize, to belittle, to hurt, this shows us that fear rule over our lives. It is not a completely bad thing, because in it is hidden the invitation to a different approach, one of blessing, of life, of vitality, of divinity. We must accept that we are in fear because we can stop being afraid. There is no need to curse; it comes from that world of fear. Our World was created with blessings, and it is kept and maintained with blessing, and all the time that there will be on it life bringing blessing to it, then it will continue to exist. Be a blessing!